“That’s Biriyani, my Lord!”: Three poems by Ra Sh That You Shouldn't Miss

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“That’s Biriyani, my Lord!”: Three poems by Ra Sh That You Shouldn't Miss

Poetry by Ra Sh

The Spider and the butterfly

One day Ms Spider died on her web.
Her moonly spun web
(replete with blogs, links, and poems)
bristled in the breeze
with tight little cocoons of
emojis, fireflies, and carnal comments.

None dared approach
fearing instant mummification.
Not even the most valiant males.

Abandoned by both prey and mate
she swayed in the sun fragmented by the web
shorn of its glue by harsh dry winds
till an Amul Butterfly landed on it.

Misreading her DP of red blossom,
the hapless Butterfly slithered along
one of the silken routes to reach the
sanctum sanctorum of the web.

But Ms.Spider had not died yet.
She clasped the Amul fly
in one last deathly spoonful hug.
The utterly-butterly-fly clasped the Ms
to draw the wildest nectar from her
(still thinking she is a bloom.)

They began a slippery-slurpery love game
yet unknown to the Jurassic world.
A game that would soon see
both alive both dead
both satiated and both crying
yeh web maange more.”

The web was blown to dust
in a gust of volcanic ash so rash
that the remnants of their love/death
were scattered to the four winds
(or, five or six or several).

The glass and steel world has not seen
a normal spider or a butterfly ever since,
not even during commercial breaks.


Buddha and Biriyani

When Buddha woke from
his psychotropic trance,
the analyst who had hypnotized him
asked, “How do you feel now Lord?
Are you free from
the clutches of Karma?”

Before replying,
Buddha’s nostrils flared.
He asked “what’s that
heavenly scent assailing
my senses?”
The Psycho sniffed the air
like a police dog and said
“That’s Biriyani, my Lord!”

The famished Lord said,
“Ah! Let me taste some of that
heavenly stuff before exiting
this damn cycle of food and feces”.
In gastronomic fervor,
the Lord transmigrated
on a long foodie trip
to all parts of the globe.

He relished Biriyani with
Saji Kabab in Kabul,
Yak wraps in Lhasa,
Kukul Mas curry in Colombo,
Shabu-shabu in China,
Seollangtang in Korea,
Gyu Kushi in Japan,
Phat kaphrao in Thailand,
Amok trey in Cambodia,
Nwa Mee Hinga in Myanmar.

Satiated and saliva dripping
from his inflamed tongue
he lay down to sleep in a
Sala grove after a meal of pork
offered by a blacksmith.
In delirium, he dreamt of
partaking Daal Bhat Tarkari
In the kitchen of Yasodhara,
then nine months pregnant.
He attained Parinirvana
in his gastroenteric slumber.

Wherever he had eaten,
his faith spread
as he had commanded
his disciples to eat
whatever they got as alms
from the people.

Therefore, Ananda,
in the cycle of life and death,
there is no right food
or wrong food.
The cannibals know it best.


The luminous seed

Descended a luminous egg from the skies
glittering with strands of silver
light as a lover’s whisper
glowing with reminiscences
moist with longing.

Tried to touch her
she shied away
tried to hold her
she was slippery
as a soul.

Who are you, bright spore from the stars?

I asked
She retorted (with a touch of resentment)
don’t you recognize me,
you, with the sweet tongue?
I came sailing on a favourable wind
over a vast bloody ocean
and a choppy sea
leaping over an emerald island
sailing sailing sailing
in my urge to see you
I am your souls’s seed
your balmy lover
dying to sprout in you.

With a cry of recognition, I lunged at her
to trap her in my lifeline, but she
slipped out through the fate line.
she was gone in a flash.
I looked for her in vain
but, far away I heard her
laughter growing faint
as she sailed on sailed on
sailed on


Ra Sh has published three collections of poetry – Architecture of Flesh (Poetrywala), Bullet Train and other loaded poems (Hawakal), and Kintsugi by Hadni (RLFPA). Forthcoming books are The Ichi Tree Monkey and other stories (translation of Tamil Dalit writer Bama’s short stories) (Speaking Tiger) and Blind Men Write (a play) (Rubric). Rash’s English translations include Mother Forest (Women Unlimited) (from Malayalam), Waking is another dream (Navayana) (Srilankan Tamil poems translated with Meena Kandasmy), Don’t want caste (Navayana) (collection of Malayalam short stories by Dalit writers) and Kochiites (Greenex), a book on different communities in Kochi.

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